Fairwood Explorer Homework Policy
Homework is currently a subject of much debate in the field of education. In the Sunnyvale School District, each school is asked to create their own policy for homework. The staff at Fairwood Explorer looked at a variety of research-based resources to identify the benefits and drawbacks of assigning homework in order to develop the Fairwood Explorer Homework Policy. One of the most influential pieces of research we considered was the article "The Case For and Against Homework" by Robert J. Marzano and Deborah Pickering. In this article, the authors synthesize data from a variety of studies on the effect of homework and identifies the following guidelines:
Research-Based Homework Guidelines
Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework benefits student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, teachers should follow these guidelines:
1. Assign purposeful homework.
Legitimate purposes for homework include introducing new content, practicing a skill or process that students can do independently but not fluently, elaborating on information that has been addressed in class to deepen students' knowledge, and providing opportunities for students to explore topics of their own interest.
2. Design homework to maximize the chances that students will complete it.
For example, ensure that homework is at the appropriate level of difficulty. Students should be able to complete homework assignments independently with relatively high success rates, but they should still find the assignments challenging enough to be interesting.
3. Involve parents in appropriate ways (for example, as a sounding board to help students summarize what they learned from the homework) without requiring parents to act as teachers or to police students' homework completion.
4. Carefully monitor the amount of homework assigned so that it is appropriate to students' age levels and does not take too much time away from other home activities.
Source: Marzano, Robert J., and Pickering, Deborah "The Case for and Against Homework" Educational Leadership March 2007: 74-79. Print.
Taking into account these recommendations, Fairwood Explorer developed the homework policy below.